Our Favorite Workouts: Race-Specific Long Ride
We are starting to get into the guts of the race season. Some of you are approaching a big event or have already raced an early season ironman or half ironman. Either way most folks are starting to hit those key sessions that are going to get them into top form for their big day.
This is the time our long slow miles are done and we are picking up the quality and race specific sets to be ready to go.
A key session that should be a staple in your final prep for your key event is the long ride with quality sets. This ride is shorter than your longer, easier distance sets, but the amount of quality work within the ride should be greater.
Total ride time: 4-4:30 hours
Terrain: Pick a terrain that matches the profile of your key event as closely as possible.
The work: Select work that matches your event. The most common mistake I see people make is taking the effort level way above their event specifications and not being able to complete the volume of work specific to the event.
For ironman, the final goal is to complete 2-3 hours broken up in segments of race specific work within your 4-4:30 hour ride time, don’t just go out and hammer straight for four hours.
- Ride easy for 30 minutes
- 6×20 minutes at ironman perceived effort, HR or power (depending on what you have). The key is to do each 20 minutes at the exact intensity you plan to use in your race. The most common mistake is taking the first three reps out too hard and then not being able to complete the entire set.
The rest between reps should be short — five minutes or less, depending on your fitness level.
Don’t look to “do your race before your race.” Instead, you want to complete pieces or sections of your “final exam” and prep your body for the stress of the day.